Sunday, February 21, 2010

Trees and Jack

Yesterday, Bow and I went down to Monterey to do a home assessment visit for a nice family wanting to adopt this basenji-boy named Jack from Michigan. They have been approved, and he should soon be making his trip out west. He sounds like a very nice boy, and I hope I might get to meet him someday. Bow was on her best behavior for the trip, and she especially enjoyed exploring the Monterey beaches and marina.

One of my favorite parts of the journey down is driving through The Avenue of Tall Trees, a quarter mile stretch of towering eucalyptuses that appear just before the climax of Vertigo. There has always been something mysterious about this stretch of the 101, and I'm not sure why. I've always wanted to walk through it and learn its history. There doesn't seem to be much on the web about it.

Aficionados of Vertigo and California geography know that there is a continuity goof in the film which implies that one drives through this grove when heading south from San Francisco to San Juan Bautistsa when, in fact, it's a few miles south of the town. It's featured in the book and website Footsteps in the Fog about Hitchcock's northern California films, but not many details are provided.
Trees figure prominently in Vertigo, first Muir Woods and then in the Avenue of Tall Trees. I've wondered if there is an Internet movie tree database. How many movies are there were trees play a leading role? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, of course, Gorillas in the Mist to a degree and in the climax of The Fox. I remember dozing off on a flight during one of those dreadful Harry Pottery Barn movies where a possessed tree was a character, but a CGI tree, I suspect, so that doesn't count. I don't think tree movie stars are as big as they were in the golden age. Perhaps that's why Barbara Walters asked that notorious "What kind of tree are you" question to Katherine Hepburn. What an insult to all those oaks and firs out there. They would never use all the quirks and melodrama of Hepburn.

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At 10:28 PM, Blogger Bryce Digdug said...

In a poem I wrote in the 70's there was a line:
Trees can't run away from their problems - Bryce

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Bryce - Yes, but did you write a screenplay?

At 3:27 PM, Blogger The Blue Elephant said...

As you know, Hitchcock, through film magic, also added the crucial tower to the Mission of San Juan Bautista

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Jim - Yes, cgi before there was cgi.

By the way, Jack's family was approved, and he now needs a ride from Michigan to Monterey.


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